Jul 29, 2009
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I just found out today from the last school that I was still being considered at that I most likely will not be matriculating this year in the fall. I definitely want to be a doctor and I don't think that passion has ever changed or been questioned. I was only able to get two interviews last year and I was hoping to get some thoughts on what to do next.

First, my stats:
MCAT: 33R (V:9, B:10, P:14) in 2008
Major: Biomedical Engineering
cGPA: 3.51
sGPA: 3.43
Residence: IL

Research: March '09 - October '09
I am an author on the paper that finally got done and should hopefully be published soon.

Shadowing: I've been shadowing a neonatologist at a local hospital since 2009

EC/Leadership: Vice President of a business fraternity in college (organizing and delegating responsibilities)

Volunteer: 1 year in high school at a local hospital

I actually graduated in June of 2009 and was fairly confident of the chances of getting into medical school for 2010. Clearly, I was wrong. However, because I was confident, I decided to take a well-paying corporate job working at a prestigious Technology Consulting firm to save up for all the debt that accompanies medical school and nothing more. I didn't even spend my signing bonus because I figured I'd have to return it when I left for medical school anyways. So unlike most reapplicants, I'm not doing a masters or taking some post-bac science classes. I still keep in touch with the researcher with whom I worked with and still continue the job shadowing on weekends. I want to know if taking this job will be held against me by schools or if they will understand why I did it. I also can't just quit and go back to school because I don't have that kind of money and if the medical school thing doesn't ever work out, I'd feel stupid for having quit a job that a lot of IE/Econ majors would kill for to start a career.

I am really in a bind here and I was hoping to get some thoughts and advice from people from this forum. I don't post here much but I do read quite a bit and most of the people are usually empathetic and helpful. I know this is a very unique situation (maybe not?) but any help is appreciated.
 
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Dec 30, 2009
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Unfortunately, you're not unique (maybe your job), but you're right...people are pretty sympathetic. :)

More info, please.

#schools applied to? top vs. middle vs. lower tier?
Only IL schools?
One year of volunteering in HIGH SCHOOL? Give up at least 2 more hours of your week/end and find a stint that you like, because shadowing is NOT volunteer experience.

As for the job, I don't think schools are holding it against you. I'd like to believe they would hold more of a grudge against nurses than someone at a consulting firm. I think your lack of EC experiences/leadership are holding you back.

Just my two.
 

sylvanthus

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I think the lack of volunteering and clinical experiences is holding you back.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Pre-Medical
hey guys, thanks for the input. to clarify, I applied to mostly lower tier schools and a few middle tier and maybe a couple of top tier (like Northwestern because I went there for undergrad). In total, I applied to 18 schools including all the public Illinois schools. Also, due to the economy at the time, I actually received my offer for the job AFTER I had done my secondaries so I'm more worried about it being an issue this year. I just don't want schools to get the impression that I'm fine not doing medicine because I have a corporate job that can turn into a career because that is the spectrum opposite of what I want.

Also, can you elaborate on what you mean by clinical? Clinical research? I am thinking of volunteering at the same hospital where I job shadow and I will probably end up doing that.
 
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Jul 29, 2009
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also for when i reapply, should i completely re-do my PS? I actually really liked the one I wrote last year. I will obviously add stuff that has changed since last year but I just don't know the protocol for PSs for reapplicants
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Clinical as in clinical volunteering. Discharging patients. Visiting patients as a companion who keeps them company. Working in a nursery. Etc. But you can give time to your community doing anything, especially since you have some shadowing and especially if it's something that you are passionate about and can speak to in your PS/interviews. :xf:

The PS needs to be re-vamped. You need to bring something new to the table, and this concept is not lost on the PS. For some adcoms, this is their first glimpse of you. If you re-apply to a school, you don't want the committee to say, "Oh, I remember this PS from last year. How lazy can this person be if they can't even tweak a personal statement? Trash!!!" And there goes your app.
 

Buzz Me

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Your GPA and lack of clinical experience is likely what hurt you. I'd apply as early as possible next cycle, bump up the GPA (post-bac if feasible), improve your clinical experience. And apply very widely. With a below-average GPA (the mean for matriculants hovers at around 3.65+ now), you need to really maximize your chances.

Best of luck.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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so is it ok if i tweak it and not completely re-do it?
Let's put it this way: you loved your PS, but your PS didn't do too much for you. You need to address what's changed this cycle, maybe add a different anecdote...there's always room for improvement, even if you thought your PS was sensational. You don't want it to sound familiar. You want to put in the effort and show committees that you're serious and motivated. To be safe, I would tweak to the point of damn near re-doing it. Try a different approach to the same topic. That's tweaking.
 

sunshinedoc

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Aug 16, 2008
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My only advice would be to really make sure that you want to be a doctor. Do some intensive physician shadowing to really know what you are getting yourself into. I am about to graduate and will be 200K in debt and have five more years of training to go. Given the new health care reform and the fact that you already seem to have a lucrative job, just make sure you are ready to commit yourself for at least the next 7 years (assuming you do 3 year residency) of studying, rounding, not sleeping and at times being treated like dirt. I am not trying to change your mind, but I now know that I really had no clue what I was getting myself into when I decided to embark on this path.

From a re-application standpoint, you need more direct medical volunteer activities. Good luck!
 
Jul 29, 2009
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hey guys, thanks for the input. I have never been more sure that medicine is what I want to do. I will start volunteering and completely tear apart my personal statement if that's what is required. If anyone has any other advice, I'd be glad to take it but I am definitely going to re-apply and let's hope this round goes better...
 
Jul 29, 2009
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as i move forward with the reapplication process, can anyone help me out and tell me which schools I should be looking at when reapplying? I will obviously apply to all my state schools, schools at which I interviewed, and a good amount of DO schools. What MD schools outside of Illinois should I be looking at?
 
Dec 30, 2009
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the MSAR would really be the best way to see what schools have a range that match your stats. I will say this off the top of my head...stay away from the California schools (minus USC Keck; that could be a good match). Other than that, there's so many schools whose averages you meet. Make sure you also pay attention to whether they are state schools that don't give much opportunity to OOS students (I made that mistake with a few schools when I was applying).
 

jslo85

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Your GPA and MCAT imo are fine. Of course there could be improvement on the MCAT (there always can if you are <36 for allopathic schools) but for all conventional purposes in trying to improve your application that isn't what I would focus on.

Your CV is what's killing you. Previous posters here have addressed it and I will too. Try expanding your shadowing to other doctors. It's not exactly shadowing itself and how much you do but what you have learned/gained from it. For example you might have shadowed a doctor for 2 years but if this shadowing for the most part meant you stood in the corner with a thumb up your a_ _ then no, it is hardly productive. Some doctors are more open than others in what they will allow students to do and mostly this has to do with the relationship you have with the physician and how much confidence he/she has in you and how much he/she wants to help you. In my case, I have taken patient history, differential diagnosis, vitals, blood draw (I'm a certified EMT), scribe, even sutured in the OR. Not trying to boast, just saying there are plenty of things to do. What is even more important in this regard is obtaining a quality LOR from said physician which attests to your character, how much you love medicine, if he/she supports you to enter medical school, what you have done in the office, if you work well with the other people in the office (teamwork is important as a physician) etc.

Also try expanding out from the physicians office. Volunteer at an inner city homeless clinic or any healthcare type opportunity. Volunteer broadly in general as well. It shows that you aren't just "boosting your app for medical school" but it is something that you love (helping others) and that you are actively involved in pursuing healthcare.

Also for research, it's great you published a paper. Even though it's becoming slightly more popular to do so, it's still a solid thing to put on your application as an academic achievement. Hopefully it was 1st or 2nd because anything after is usually construed as simply trying to get your name down on something at the very end. Anyway this is just my thoughts.
 

dragonfly99

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I agree with sunshinedoc.
You badly need clinical volunteer experience.
Yes you need to rewrite the personal statement.
Do you have a LOR from a physician? I think it would help if you can get one.
Try to find out which med schools like applicants with a biomedical and/or business background (perhaps ones that have more of a "hard science" versus primary care focus, or ones that have the option of doing an MBA/MD combined degree). Don't apply to most state schools as an out of state applicant, since they probably won't take you. Try St Louis University, Rosalind Franklin, perhaps George Washington U.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Pre-Medical
hey all,

thanks for all your input earlier this year. I actually did get some clinical experience under my belt and I got into LECOM already because I applied super early and got their first interview slot. I've also had 4 other interview invites (3 DO, 1 MD) although I turned down one of the DO interviews. Once again, thank you for all your help and I guess I can count myself as one of the success stories as a re-applicant :D
 

emno

10+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2009
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hey all,

thanks for all your input earlier this year. I actually did get some clinical experience under my belt and I got into LECOM already because I applied super early and got their first interview slot. I've also had 4 other interview invites (3 DO, 1 MD) although I turned down one of the DO interviews. Once again, thank you for all your help and I guess I can count myself as one of the success stories as a re-applicant :D
congrats